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Climate change modelling

New CCMI survey - Focus on behavioral changes

The first CCMI survey for 2022 is now open. The focus in this edition is on behavioral changes and how they are integrated in climate change models, in addition to the regularly covered topics (NDCs, mid-century strategies and SDGs). Please submit contributions about your latest research by 4 February 2022.

 
New CCMI survey now open

Contribute to the new CCMI survey and help shape the next report on modelling developments in the finance sector, NDCs and mid-century strategies - Available until 9 July

 
CCMI First Quarterly Report of 2021

The first quarterly report of 2021 under the series ‘Climate Change Modelling Information’ financed by the European Commission is out now. This report focuses on modelling developments linked to: the Covid-19 public health crisis and its effects, in addition to the regular sections on Nationally Determined Contributions, Mid-century strategies and the Sustainable Development Goals. The report is based on an open survey sent to more than 200 modelling teams worldwide in January 2021.

 
Recent modelling developments and studies

A research team across institutions in China and the US has published an article on the health and economic benefits of China’s greenhouse gas mitigation by 2050. TNO in the Netherlands has modelled the possibility to use domestic low-carbon energy sources to help Madagascar reach its GHG emissions reduction target. And researchers in Brazil have included carbon revenue recycling schemes in the TEA model.

 
Recent modelling developments and studies

The report features research linked to mid-century strategies on shaping long-term baselines with CGE models. Different articles deal with macroeconomic assumptions (including GDP growth projections), long-term consumption trends, key energy and emission trends, and model linking (e.g. CGE models with more detailed energy models). Researchers from the Netherlands and the UK have constructed a metamodel of climate and integrated assessment models that assesses the emissions budget, costs and uncertainty sources of achieving temperature targets.

 
Recent modelling developments and studies

With the caveat that it is too early for concrete research results, there is already some evidence that modellers are working to integrate the impacts of the crisis in their work. While there are no published studies yet, half of the respondents in the August CCMI survey have indicated that they are working on integrating the impact of Covid-19 in economic recovery plans and current policy scenarios. One of the research streams of the IAMC meeting in December 2020 is dedicated to assessment of the impact of the pandemic and the crisis recovery packages.

 
Climate Change Modelling Information - Q4 2020 report

This report is the fourth quarterly report of 2020 under the series “Climate change modelling information” financed by the European Commission. The objective of this series is to inform the European Commission and the wider climate change and energy modelling community about recent and relevant policy modelling developments. This report under the “Climate change modelling information” series presents recent developments reported by key international climate modelling institutions. This issue sets a particular emphasis on the Covid-19 public health crisis and its effects, in addition to the regular sections on Nationally Determined Contributions, Mid-century strategies and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 
Climate Change Modelling Information - Q3 2020 report

This report is the third quarterly report of 2020 under the series “Climate change modelling information” financed by the European Commission. The objective of this series is to inform the European Commission and the wider climate change and energy modelling community about recent and relevant policy modelling developments. This report under the “Climate change modelling information” series presents recent developments reported by key international climate modelling institutions. This issue sets a particular emphasis on the transport sector and the Covid-19 public health crisis and its effects, in addition to the regular sections on Nationally Determined Contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 
Recent modelling developments and studies

With the caveat that it is too early for concrete research results, there is already some evidence that modellers are working to integrate the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis in their work. Researchers in the UK propose a new approach to estimating the reduction of global CO2 emissions during the crisis by compiling a confinement index of government lockdown policies and reduction of human activities. Scientists measuring the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere estimate that the effect of confinement policies on CO2 emissions will be relatively slow and will not drastically stop the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere. Finally, a number of researchers form the Union of Concerned scientists issued a warning about the need to address compound climate risks in the Covid-19 and future pandemics.

 
Recent modelling developments and studies

Two recent studies assess the impact of national climate policies on reaching the Paris Agreement targets – one study does that for the seven highest CO2 global emitters and one study focuses on China. Another study from researchers in China examines the climate and health benefits of phasing out iron and steel production. The authors of the study have compiled a new database of steel plants in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The section also presents a new integrated assessment model developed at provincial level in South-Korea. Finally, a recent article examines the effects of a potential international emissions trading system in China, South-Korea and Japan.

 
Modelling developments covering the representation of the transport sector

Two key themes emerge from the developments in this section: the need to integrate models of the transport and energy systems and the need to better represent human behaviour in transport models. Two review articles asses the tools used to model human behaviour in mobility systems, one from the USA and another from Denmark. Another study from Denmark examines the long-term decarbonisation of the transport sector in Denmark. And finally, an article from the JRC analyses the policy options for promoting fuel cell electric vehicles in the EU to drive the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector.

 
Climate Change Modelling Information - Q2 2020 report

This report is the second quarterly report of 2020 under the series “Climate change modelling information” financed by the European Commission. The objective of this series is to inform the European Commission and the wider climate change and energy modelling community about recent and relevant policy modelling developments. This issue sets a particular emphasis on mid-century strategies, nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and the representation of socio-economic mechanisms. It also informs interested modellers about an upcoming call for tender on Modelling of greenhouse-gas emissions relevant to the Paris Agreement.

 
Modelling developments linked to implementation of mid-century strategies

Researchers at IIASA have developed a new IAM scenario logic that improves the representation of Paris Agreement temperature targets and climate response uncertainties to make explicit the intergeneration bias of current IAM models, in most of which the burden is carried by future generations. Another study examines decarbonisation pathways and energy investment needs for developing Asia, and concludes that a radical transformation of the energy system is needed to meet the “well below” 2°C target.

 
Modelling developments linked to the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Two recent studies from PBL Netherlands provide a 2019 update to greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios for major emitting countries and a meta-analysis on international shipping and aviation emissions projections from Integrated Assessment Models. The 2019 Global Energy and Climate Outlook from the Joint Research Centre examines the role of electrification in the low-carbon transition. An article in the Journal of Transport and Health evaluates the co-benefits of air quality and health improvement in China. And lastly, researchers in Australia are developing a new tool to help policymakers build net-zero emissions scenarios for Australian industries at the national and state/territory levels.

 
Modelling linked to the better representation of the socio-economic mechanisms of climate policy

A new metamodel of the costs of climate policy from Utrecht University and PBL Netherlands disaggregates the uncertainties linked to physical and socio-economic factors; it finds that more ambitious climate targets are associated with higher uncertainty in socio-economic factors such as economic growth, population growth and changes in human behaviour. Research from the University of Waterloo in Canada shows the utility of the cross-impact balances (CIB) technique to construct global socio-technical scenarios for climate change research. A paper from the Inter-American Development Bank explores the labour impact of four scenarios of electricity generation in Chile, including three coal power phase-down scenarios.

 
Modelling developments linked to the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

A recent article estimates the macroeconomic impacts on the European Union’s economy of different EU decarbonisation pathways towards a below 2oC climate stabilisation. Researchers at COPPE/UFRJ have developed a new household income disaggregation method for the TEA model and will use it to assess the heterogeneous effects of introducing different schemes of carbon trading on income distribution in Brazil.

 
Modelling developments linked to implementation of mid-century strategies

Using an hourly electricity dispatch and capacity investment model, EleMod, researchers in the U.S. investigate the potential role of nuclear power in the decarbonisation of the U.S. electricity sector. They find that, with low electricity generation costs of nuclear, advanced nuclear power can contribute, together with solar and wind, to achieving the 90% CO2 emission reduction target by reducing the carbon price. A study assessing Japan’s mid-century emission pathways is the first to integrate global and national models to show that additional mitigation action beyond the NDC is necessary to achieve the low-carbon budget scenario after 2030. The Center for International Forestry Research in Germany is developing a nature-based solutions framework to inform the Green Climate Fund’s strategic section.